Wheat harvest gets underway in Colorado

Wheat harvest started in Southeastern Colorado over the last weekend in June, according to a report from the Colorado Wheat organization.

Farmers and elevators in Baca County reported test weights ranging from 58-63 pounds and protein ranging from 8.8 -11 percent. They also reported yields ranged from 30 bushels per acre on some hailed fields up to 80 bushels per acre on dryland production.

Further north, in Prowers County, farmers started cutting on July 1. Very preliminary numbers showed an average test weight of 61.3 pounds per bushel and average protein of 12.7 percent before rain moved in and delayed the harvest in that area.

Cheyenne and Kiowa counties were expected to begin cutting this week. Northeastern Colorado is still believed to be running about 10 to 14 days behind normal maturation.

Meanwhile, harvest in Oklahoma is on the verge of wrapping up.

"While it has been an extremely challenging year across the state to get harvest completed, most areas had favorable yields, with satisfactory test weights and decent protein levels," reported Mike Schulte, Oklahoma Wheat Commission executive director.


Junior Hereford exhibitors hit 'the hill' at Denver stockyards 

More than 900 exhibitors from more than 40 states were expected to show approximately 1,500 head of cattle this week in Denver during the Junior National Hereford Expo.

The event, which includes leadership training and competitive educational activities, wraps up Saturday. The theme is "Herefords on the Hill."


Greenberg to speak at hemp summit in Portland

The National Industrial Hemp Council has announced that Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg will be the keynote speaker at its annual business summit, Aug. 12-13 in Portland, Ore.

Describing Greenberg as an "industry trailblazer," the group said she would talk about her efforts to reshape policies and programs at the state and federal levels to enable more family farmers to make a living on the land, by addressing issues like farmland affordability, agriculture education, access to capital and credit, and Food Safety Modernization Act compliance.


Officials warn of horse virus spread

State veterinarians in Colorado and surrounding states are warning horse owners to be on the lookout for additional cases of vesicular stomatitis after two horses in Weld County tested positive for the disease on July 3.

In New Mexico, two horses on a single premises in Sandoval County tested positive on June 27, with two additional cases confirmed on July 5, one in Los Alamos County and another in Valencia County.

There are no USDA approved vaccines for VSV, which is often painful for the animals and can be costly for their owners. Excessive salivation is often the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Early symptoms can lead to lameness and weight loss.


Tough times ahead for ethanol industry

According to a report by CoBank, domestic U.S. ethanol demand will likely be flat over the next two years due to excess production. Declining corn production this year will also squeeze margins and could force some ethanol plants to shut down or idle production.

Ethanol plants had been expanding their capacity after several years of positive margins, but margins began to slide in the summer of 2018 and since then plants have struggled to remain profitable.

With stocks expected to remain above 900 million gallons through the remainder of 2019, margins are expected remain low and could force plants to look for ways to diversify their revenue streams, according to CoBank's report.


NIFA annual report available

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2018 Annual Report has been published.

J. Scott Angle, NIFA director, says in the introduction, "This annual report includes powerful examples of the many NIFA-funded research, extension, and education solutions that address societal challenges. I look forward to the transformative and remarkable discoveries that our grantees will make."

The annual report is available online. Go to NIFA.USDA.gov and click on "Annual Report."